Monday, November 22, 2010

Meet Team Marmot: Adriana Maldonado

I am a first year Fullbright Doctoral Fellow from Colombia, where I worked with Capybaras, the biggest rodent of the world! They are cool animals, and the best part is that they are rodents, as marmots!

I am studying how individuals of a population can help to cope with environmental fluctuations. So, I will mark marmots and look how they modify some of their behaviors such as the time they wake up from hibernation during the spring, the number of pups they have, the weight they gain, and when do they go to sleep again for the winter. Also, I will record environmental information such as temperature and snow. Then, I will explore if the marmots change their behavior when the weather conditions change.

This is me in the field giving eartags to a new pup.

The next step in step in my research is to represent the marmot life cycle and test if the individual differences among marmots have consequences in the rhythm at which the population grows. To do this, I will use population modeling methods, math and statistics.

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